Pawnbrokers and High Street Loan Stores: UK Market Profile and Forecast 2015

Published: August 2015
No. of Pages: 57
Single User License: US $ 2066
Corporate User License: US $ 4131

What does the report cover?

  • This pawnbroking market report includes traditional pawnbrokers, stores which focus primarily on trading of second-hand goods in particular jewellery and consumer electronics. It also includes those whose main focus is high-interest lending such as payday loans, term loans, cheque cashing, money transfer and foreign currency exchange.
  • There is significant overlap between these activities with most of the leading chains now carrying out a mix of each.
  • The report describes in detail how, and why, the pawnbroking market grew at rapid rates in the period up to 2013 before decreasing in size in the last couple of years.
  • It quantifies the pawnbroking market size, historical growth rates, segmentation patterns and levels of industry profitability. The report reviews key factors behind these figures.
  • It also carries out an in-depth analysis of the relevant drivers of industry growth including the macroeconomic environment, impact of the gold price and changes in the regulatory framework setting out historical trends and available forecasts.
  • Apex Insight's forecast for the loan shop and pawnbroking market growth is based on this analysis of historical trends and growth drivers.

Questions addressed by the report

  • Was the pawnbroking market driven by a gold bubble or is there underlying growth in the market?
  • What impact has the tightening of payday lending regulation had on high street loan stores?
  • How has each of the leading chains performed? What are their areas of focus?
  • How does industry revenue segment between different service lines such as pawnbroking, payday / term lending, gold buying and retail? How has it changed and how do we expect it to change in the future?
  • Is ?posh pawn' now an important area?
  • Does comparison with the US pawnbroking market suggest potential for further growth?

Who is the report intended for?

  • Operators of pawnbroking and retail loan stores
  • Investors in these businesses
  • Potential new entrants to the market
  • Market regulators and policymakers
  • Banks, analysts, consultants and other parties with interests in the sector

What are the sources and methodology?

This report is based on

  • Interviews with senior-level contacts in the pawnbroking and consumer credit industries
  • Extensive research into published industry sources
  • In-depth analysis of the macroeconomic environment and relevant market drivers
  • Financial analysis of the accounts of companies in the industry

Information from these sources has been synthesised and presented clearly and concisely with extensive use of charts and tables to illuminate points and support conclusions


Market background

The market consists of high-street shops which offer combinations of pawnbroking and other lending services such as payday and term loans, purchase of second-hand goods including gold jewellery, electronics and other items.

Most of the main chains have their roots in one area but there has been convergence with most now offering a mix of these services

Pawn loans are typically for up to two-thirds of the value of a pledged item.

  • The principal plus fees and interest is repayable on or before the end of the agreement, usually six months later.
  • If the loan is not repaid, the item is forfeit and will be sold to repay the loan.
  • Around 30% of pledges are not redeemed

While press reports often focus on ?posh pawn' involving middle class customers with assets but not cash, interviews suggest it is a small part of the market and research shows that most loans are for either day-to-day spending or household bills.

Loan costs are c.120% APR. This is more expensive than conventional credit but cheaper than other forms of high cost credit such as payday loans or doorstep lending.

Store location is very important as most people do not travel far to visit a pawnbroker.

Pawnbroking market growth and drivers

The market grew from 2009-13 to reach well over 2000 stores across the UK.

Market growth was driven by

  • A significant increase in the number of customers in the sub-prime segments as a result of the economic downturn,
  • Significant reduction in the appetite of the mainstream banks for serving such customers,
  • A sustained rise in the gold price in the decade leading up to 2011-12,
  • The more favourable regulatory environment for high-cost credit providers in the UK than elsewhere in Western Europe and North America,
  • The increase in the supply of suitable sites resulting from the decline of the high street as a mainstream shopping destination.

However, in 2014 and 2015, the market has decreased in size following a fall in the gold price and the introduction of the Payday Loan Cap by the FCA.

Competitive landscape

The market has become relatively concentrated as a result of seven large chains having rolled out their store networks in recent years.

The following are the main companies in the sector.

  • CNG Holdings, which operates both the Cheque Centres and Cash Generator high street chains as well as The Loan Store payday loans website, and which has recently closured some loss-making stores.
  • Dollar Financial, which is based in the US, where it operates pawnbroking and lending stores, but now has a substantial share of its revenue from its UK operations, which are The Money Shop chain and the Payday UK and Payday Express loan brands.
  • Cash Converters, an international pawnbroking franchise which started in Australia and moved to the UK in 1992.
  • Albemarle and Bond which was recently acquired by Promethean Investments after the weakening market impacted its ability to service its debt.
  • H&T, the UK's largest traditional pawnbroking chain, which is listed on AIM.
  • Ramsdens, the third-largest of the traditional pawnbroking chains, which was acquired by private equity firm, NorthEdge in 2014 and which has expanded both within and outside its base in the North-East.


  • In the last two years, the reversal in the gold price has led to a significant reduction in the levels of gold buying. Most analysts expect the price to fall further in 2015-2016, and our forecast assumes that gold buying decreases further as a result
  • Payday lending has also come under pressure with most of the leading chains withdrawing from the area or reducing their focus on it.
  • Traditional pawnbroking activity appears set to continue to grow at a steady rate, with less regulatory risk.
  • We expect the market to continue to fall further in 2015 as store closures take effect, before returning to growth, but at a more modest rate than in the period leading up to 2013.

Companies mentioned in the report

  • Instant Cash Loans
  • The Money Shop
  • Dollar Financial Corporation
  • Cash Generator
  • Cheque Centres
  • CNG Holdings
  • Axcess Financial
  • H & T Group
  • Albemarle and Bond
  • Cash Converters
  • Ramsdens Financial
  • Borro
  • Oakam
  • SRC Transatlantic Limited
  • Speedy Cash

Published By: Apex Insight
Product Code: Apex Insight96

Did you find what you are/were looking for ? If not, read below and browse through other relevant pages for similar market research reports OR get in touch with us through the form/contact info in your right navigation panel and well share relevant market report titles for you to explore.

Related Reports:


  • 500,000 market research reports and growing.
  • Top Fortune 500 Organizations trust us for research data.
  • 24/7 support on call as well as emails.
  • Your Details are safe with us.
  • Free support for your research requirements.
  • Report Delivery: Email
  • Delivery Time:
    • Upto 24 hrs - working days
    • Upto 48 hrs max - weekends and public holidays

Research Support / Custom Research

If this business study does not have the data and information analysis you need, contact us with your research requirements. We explore available market research reports to map your needs and share report titles with you. Alternatively, we can also offer custom research that suits your budget and timelines. Share your information requirements here.
Connect With Us
Email: Call : + 1 888 391 5441

Subscription Option

Using our subscription option, you get access to market research reports and industry data of Consumer Goods market as per your needs. Get the best of Consumer Goods research reports by utilizing your research budgets in an optimum way.

More about our Subscription option
Report Alerts

Get Email alerts about market research reports from industries and publishers of your interest:

We use cookies to deliver the best possible experience on our website.
By continuing to use this site, or closing this box, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, visit our Privacy Policy